Back to Basics

In the summer, and for a portion of autumn, I went through a style rut; one of those periods when you suddenly hate everything in your closet and everything looks terrible on you and maybe you should move to a remote patch of forest in Germany and wear the same track pants and t-shirt for the rest of your life because who cares.

Maybe that last part was too specific. But you can catch my drift.

There is no immediate cure to a spot of low self-esteem. I encounter them frequently, and while I do have my go-to quick fixes (listening to 80s music, going for a run, watching a good action movie) there is no true solution for it. It takes a bit of time and a dash of inspiration.

For me, that was found in returning to the simple stuff – going back to basics. And I mean that both in a “go back to what you know” way and a “wearing plain basics is awesome” way.

Once you find that space to return to, the inspiration and creativity comes back bit by bit. I’ve become excited about getting dressed again, about planning outfits the night before and putting together looks from head to toe.

It’s the same with this blog. Since I’m working full-time and writing occasionally for Novella, there is little time to come back to the blog, despite how much I love it. But I wanted to, and to come back for the third or fourth time, I decided to go back to the beginning with a simple outfit post on a simple outfit.

Simple, but effective. (I think, at least.)

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I love creating a look based entirely in neutrals, either warm earthy-tones or stark black and white. I matched the outfit almost entirely except for my blue jeans, which add some colour and depth to the outfit. Not to mention, a turtleneck and pair of mom jeans is a classic fall/winter look. Do I look like a 70s ski mom? Maybe. Am I okay with that? Definitely.

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While I definitely love my more outlandish looks (and of course, “outlandish” is a sliding scale dependent on the person) I also love donning my more subtle creations.

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This is a look I would wear absolutely anywhere: shopping, a coffee date, lunch, dinner, work. You name it, this is the go-to I have for it.

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And with the cold weather coming, we have to keep coats in mind. This long coat from Monki goes with everything in my wardrobe and is perfect to chuck on before speeding out the door. I do always love a good outerwear moment, and am impatiently awaiting opportunities to bust out some other coats in my collection.

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Sure, this look isn’t going to go on a Top 10 list. It’s something I feel good in: comfortable and confident, something that puts me in the mindset to create other, more exciting outfits. It’s something that, frankly, works, when nothing else does.

OUTFIT DETAILS

Coat – Monki via ASOS (Similar)

Turtleneck – Anthropologie (Similar)

Jeans – American Apparel (Similar)

Belt – Free People

Boots – Urban Outiftters

Bag – Urban Outfitters

 

Real Cool

I have no idea what it means to be cool. It’s a pretty abstract concept when you think about it. What makes it? Style? Attitude? Aloofness? James Dean’s red jacket in Rebel Without A Cause?

Whatever it is, it’s pretty open to interpretation. For myself in high school, it meant trying to be exactly like the popular kids. As can be expected, that method wasn’t too successful.

Later in university, it meant doing whatever I wanted and TO HELL with the consequences and what everyone else thinks. I am, however, not nearly confident or badass enough to properly pull that off, but the thought was there. Because, let’s be real I care very much about what other people think.

In life, maybe being cool doesn’t actually exist because deep down we’re just a bunch of dorks.

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In style, I think the key is learning to be confident in your own decisions. Maybe you know that what you wear isn’t everyone’s taste but you do it anyway because you love it. I’ve been working on this for years while trying to make my wardrobe a little more interesting. Whenever I come across a piece that’s a little different than my usual threads, I think, yes, this will be so dang cool. But then, every time I’m getting dressed, I bypass it for something much more standard.

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These jeans are a small example of that process. The whole time I was trying them on, they kept making me think about it. These aren’t even strange, but they’re a step away from my usual black skinnies and mom jeans When I got them, I made a pact with myself that the only way I could justify buying them would be to wear them as much as possible.

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Styling them is proving to be a bit difficult, firstly because they’re not a high-rise fit (which just feels weird to me) and secondly because they’re a straight leg jean and I want to keep the proportions balanced.

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My most successful attempt is this: a plain white button down and a long coat. Simple but effective, and I feel really good in it. Further staying attempts will continue, of course.

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Author’s Note: I should mention this blog post was originally going to be about just how freaking cold it’s getting in Toronto, but I realized I should probably take it a bit deeper than that.

I do stand by that point, though. It’s getting hella cold. It was snowing on me when I took these pictures. I know it’s seasonal but. bro.

DETAILS

Jeans: Levi’s (from Anthropologie)

Shirt: Aritzia

Coat: Topshop

Hat: Aritzia

Necklaces: Oak + Fort, Anthropologie